Tempo Checks! Check Yourself



This morning I was recording and practicing a piece by Sergei Rachmaninoff. It's entitled, Prelude in D major, op. 23. no. 4.


[Real quick: a prelude is a type of piece. It's usually short and comes before another piece. In this case, the preludes of Rachmaninoff are short pieces that have a lot of emotion jammed into a piece that has one or two main tunes to it. Also, 'op.' means 'opus' which is 'work' in English and 'no.' means 'number'.]


When I get familiar with a piece, I need to check my tempo or speed. For me, I need to make sure that my tempo is the same in different places of the piece. Over the Covid shutdown, our band at Riverstone Church used a click track to help us in the recording process. It was amazing how much I found that my tempo would shift in different sections.


This morning I focused my practicing on the prelude by Rachmaninoff using tempo checks. I took special note where I would vary my tempo.


I used an external measure called a metronome. It's something that 'clicks' as I set it to a particular speed. Rumor has it that Thomas Edison invented the windshield wiper based on the oscillating of the old metronome (like, the one in the post picture). Is that true? Someone help me out here. Didn't have time to verify. :)


Ok - so, I used an external measure to check myself.


We all need these types of external inputs that we trust to speak into our lives. Who is speaking into your life? Do you have a coach, teacher, mentor, group that you can trust to speak wisdom into your life?


If I don't have these external measures and people speaking into my life in place, I am on an internal loop of stuff going on in my head. This goes for life and music.


So, who could you reach out to to ask that to speak into your life? We need to continue to grow as musicians, people, leaders, and teachers. That can only happen as we are willing to learn from others we trust.



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